TSX rebounds on oil, ECB
Oil prices turned positive again Thursday on lower stockpiles of US crude and gasoline but the outlook remains weak. Meanwhile Toronto’s stock exchanged gained as expectation was raised that Europe’s central bank may be considering additional stimulus.
The ECB held interest rates steady but bank president Mario Draghi said that policy would need to be “re-examined in December” which was news the markets liked. European indexes gained around 2 per cent.
Wall Street was sharply higher following the ECB news together with earnings. Tech firms are reporting this evening including Amazon, Microsoft and the Google parent Alphabet.
Asian markets had closed mixed earlier in the day ahead of the ECB.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 173.9 (1.27 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 320.5 (1.87 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $48.18, WTI $45.40 at 4.25pm)
Gold is trending lower (1165.80 at 4.25pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7627
Motor vehicles, parts boosted retail sales
Data from Statistics Canada Thursday showed a fourth straight month of growth in retail sales for August. Sales were up 0.5 per cent to $43.6 billion but the growth was reliant on motor vehicles and parts. Excluding sales in that subsector retail was flat although 4 of the 11 subsectors saw some gains. In volume terms sales were up 0.7 per cent.
Unemployment beneficiaries lower in August
The number of Canadians receiving Employment Insurance fell in August by 7,900 or 4.1 per cent compared to July. The total number of 536,800 marks a year-over-year increase of 7.1 per cent. Ontario had the largest decline in EI beneficiaries, down 3.9 per cent; Quebec was down 1.9 per cent; Saskatchewan was down 1.1 per cent. There was a rise in claimants in Manitoba, up 5.8 per cent and PEI, up 2.6 per cent. The other provinces were unchanged. Statistics Canada reported that the number of EI claims increased by 4.9 per cent to 242,400 in August. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries and Alberta led the increase (14.8 per cent).
Shaw profits soared 44 per cent in Q3
Shaw Communications posted a huge rise in profits for the third quarter Thursday, although the figures were skewed by the sale of some of its wireless spectrum to Rogers. Aside from that sale Shaw’s business pulled in 6.3 per cent additional revenue from 2014 at $1.34 billion but net income was down almost 1 per cent to $880 million and the firm admitted that it is losing customers in the competitive market.
Valeant drops 15 per cent
Valeant Pharmaceutical dropped 15 per cent again Thursday as an economist from BMO Capital Markets downgraded his outlook for the firm. The Financial Post reported that CEO Michael Pearson and members of the board’s audit and risk committee will hold a conference call Monday.